Our Journey begins shortly after the Civil War in one of the most notorious parts of the City known as “the Bay.” A group of devout Christians led by Brother Peter White, a member of the Fifth Baptist Church, now known as the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church, organized a prayer meeting near the Old Barracks located on 14th Street between “B” and “C” Streets Northwest. Despite the “enemy” being in our very midst, the prayer meeting succeeded with winning many souls for Christ.
In April 1900, a call was extended to Rev. Isaac Tolliver of Waco, Texas. He accepted and assumed the pastorate almost immediately. Under his pastorate, the membership grew necessitating the enlargement of the church. In addition to providing more seating capacity, the first baptismal pool was installed at Liberty. Also under Rev. Tolliver’s guidance, Brother Joseph Cole and others organized the first Baptist Young Peoples Union (BYPU); today it is Nurture for Baptist Churches (NBC).
On June 24, 1952, the church called Rev. Wilmore A. Carter as its Pastor. Rev. Carter, a Son of Friendship Baptist Church, took charge on August 3, 1952. His dynamic services and forceful leadership revived and inspired the entire membership. Some of his innovations included the organization of a Youth Club, a Youth Coral Group, a Flower Club and a Men’s Club. A church bulletin published weekly by the Youth Club was also started.
On October 23, 1976, Rev. Richard M. Rice was unanimously elected Pastor, and, at the same time, Rev. White was elected Assistant Pastor. Prior to coming to Liberty, Rev. Rice was the former Pastor of the Second New Hope Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He began his pastorate at Liberty on December 1, 1976. The first family officially joined the church on the first Sunday Rev. Rice preached to the congregation as our Pastor-Elect. He was installed, Sunday, February 20, 1977.
2014 - Present
On July 19, 2014, Rev. Anthony E. Owens was elected pastor of the Liberty Baptist Church. He is the former Youth Minister of Paramount Baptist Church here in the city. Rev. Owens preached to the church as Pastor-Elect for the first time on August 31, 2014. It was at that time when he and his lovely wife, Margaret joined Liberty. Rev. Owens was formally installed as Pastor of this great church on March 8, 2015.
We thank God for the pioneers of our Church and we ask God to continue to bless us as we remember our precious past, embrace our purposeful present and endure our faithful future!